The Single Most Destructive Attitude We Can Have – Part 3 – Resenting Caretaking
– By Joe Fornear
The type of resentment which might be most difficult to admit is resenting caretaking. Let’s face it, the futility and helplessness of simply observing someone facing a major crisis can be overwhelming. But frustration is compounded when a caretaker invests massive amounts of time, finances, energy and emotion.
Job’s wife was not the first or last caretaker to crack under the strain. In hopes of ending the string of tragedies visited upon her family, she snapped at her sick husband: “Do you still hold to your integrity, curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Clearly, bitterness had crept in — she even resents the fact that he was coping well!
I can’t blame Mrs. Job though. Caretakers often journey through suffering under a different set of rules than patients. Consider three contrasts:
- Patients have no problem “making it all about me,” while caretakers feel guilty even considering their feelings, so they usually just suppress them.
- Patients loudly proclaim that they “want their life back,” as I did during my battle, and most onlookers totally understand. Yet such statements from a caretaker will usually be considered self-centered.
- Common courtesy is to ask people how they are doing, but if you’re a caretaker, you will first be asked about the patient. Your well-being is either an afterthought or overlooked altogether.
So how does a caretaker handle an impossible load? The answer must be to tap into the supernatural. Human love has its limits. Divine love does not. He wants to give us His love to flow through us to others. Just ask and keep asking — moment by moment.
To help unravel the feelings and frustrations of caretaking, we offer a free new resource written by a caretaker for caretakers, patients and really everyone with feelings. My wife, Terri, recently published a book called Dealing with Feelings, A Journal of God’s Promises. This book will help you separate the lies from the truth about God. Lies can creep in during hard times. It is a tool to get to the root of your emotions to resolve them Biblically. As Jesus said in John 8:32 & 36, “The truth will set you free… and if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
So send us your address and we’ll send you Dealing With Feelings for free. If you insist on paying something, just make a donation to Stronghold Ministry. And hug a caretaker today!
Father, Your Son endured the ultimate suffering for our sin, and You watched – You understand this pain. Give us Your supernatural enablement to watch and graciously help when our loved ones suffer.